Stories tagged with All

Nov 11, 2009 CR Costa Rica

By Karl Baumgarten, KF9, Costa Rica

4,000,0000 cups per year. 10,958,904 cups per day. 42 beans per cup.  460,273,968 beans per day. And they all have to be picked one by one by one. My fingers hurt just thinking about it. Every cup we make  is the culmination of an incredibly involved process that we all should appreciate.

Below is a video of the coffee process at AsoProLa, an organic coffee company which processes coffee from small scale farmers in Altamira, many of whom have micro-loans with FUDECOSUR

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Nov 11, 2009 PE Peru

Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru & KF9 Bolivia

One of the most exciting things about being a Kiva Fellow is the opportunity to tell the untold stories of those so remote, so rural, and so ignored by the media.  When there are six billion humans sprinkled across the world, the media has the unenviable task of picking and choosing stories that deserve local, national, or even global attention.  As a result, we hear about unimaginable tragedies plaguing certain parts of the world — and often only the most painful and shocking stories are...

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Nov 11, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal Bilimoria, KF9, Ecuador

Ecuadorian cheese tastes a bit different if one is not accustomed to eating it. Cheese is not necessarily the most common ingredient in local fare, as the staple for most meals is rice, plantains and beans served with beef, chicken or some other type of meat. However, it’s unmistakeable when you take that first bite of pizza, pasta or ham and cheese sandwich…especially if it hasn’t been refrigerated properly due to the energy crisis sweeping the country.

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Nov 11, 2009

By Mohammed Al-Shawaf, KF9 Palestine

Recently, Kiva’s been engulfed in controversy over how it presents its Person-to-Person lending platform–a convenient shorthand for the reality on the ground or a more draconian attempt to mislead the casual lender?  I will not weigh in on this specific debate because there is already a rich dialogue that has taken place. However, I have noticed that a theme in some of the posts and responses has been to lament the limitations of P2P lending today.  

In this equation, the microfinance institutions (...

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Nov 11, 2009 SL Sierra Leone

by Stephanie Meyer, KF9, Sierra Leone

I eat at Kumba’s at least three times a week. I’ve always been the type that likes to have my “regular spots” – my coffee shop, my bar, my newsstand. I like to think of Kumba’s as my lunch spot. It doesn’t hurt that everything is so homey. There are only three tables, so people tend to share and chat. By the time I had made three visits, I was granted to privilege of walking through the door to “Eh! Step-nie!” followed by enquiries after the folks I usually eat with and their whereabouts. The food is tasty and...

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Nov 11, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru & KF9 Bolivia

Twisted twining vining metal unrhythmic untamed unkempt and in comes the dust sweat and sticking to me tires thumping each rock unsettled plastic bag squeezed empty tossed out the window just a drop of papaya juice leaps back clings to the dirty car door parting from the white stretch of plastic mangling on wire scraps whose posture, never organized nor structured nor retreating but insistingly unfinished uncared for undone and meters behind she rests her worn hand with dirty fingernails on the back...

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Nov 11, 2009 MX Mexico

By Julia Kastner, KF9 Mexico

When Kiva first started, all of its loans were to individuals.  Borrower A asked for X dollars and voila!  Person A got a Kiva loan.   Over time, however, Kiva’s been working with more and more MFIs, and the number of different types of loans and lending models has been increasing.

Watch a meeting of a community bank (a.k.a. UDE):

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As Kiva explains...

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Nov 11, 2009 KE Kenya

by Rachel Brooks, KF9, Kenya

My favorite Kiva field partner before I started my fellowship was Kisimu Medical & Education Trust, here in Kenya. At K-MET, microfinance is a smaller part of a community-based health organization. They offer loans to providers (many of them volunteers) so that they can maintain or improve their clinics and services. And they have these wonderfully innovative programs to help women and improve reproductive health.

But as much as programs like these make me go weak at the knees, I’ve also really come around to loving what the...

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Nov 11, 2009

By Mohammed Al-Shawaf, KF9 Palestine

Before proceeding, let me first state that this is not a political blog.  I neither have the expertise nor desire to engage in the complex web of conflict–latent or otherwise–that surrounds the major events of the last decade in Palestine.  I will attempt to reference and explain only the events that help me tell the story of the resiliency of the Palestinian microfinance sector and in particular, of Ryada.  I implore those interested in learning more to do just that.  Although it requires a bit of fiddling around, the ...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

It rained all weekend in Managua. It rained because of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ida, which hit Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast on Thursday. You may have heard about Ida because your saw it on the news or read about it in the paper. Or maybe, like me, you learned about it via an alert from the US Embassy in Nicaragua. In my mind, Embassy Alerts are code for “things to start worrying about if you aren’t already.” Written in a calm, informative tone, the alerts are as alarming as they are pertinent. In my five weeks in Nicaragua, I have received alerts on...

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